A visit to the Galilee brings tastes and flavors unlike any you’ve ever experienced before. From regional cheeses handmade in artisanal dairies to world-class wines from boutique vineyards, from gourmet family-run restaurants to freshly-picked fruits and vegetables bursting with flavor, the Galilee is a foodie’s paradise.

A Region Flowing with Milk and Wine

Visit an artisanal dairy to discover the richness of Galilee cheeses and take part in the rhythm of cheese-making. Let an expert cheese-maker guide you as you taste some of the area’s many unique soft, hard and semi-hard cheeses, such as lebane, a creamy yoghurt-like soft cheese made from sheep or goat’s milk that is often served mixed with local herbs like za’atar, or zefatit, a salted sheep’s curd cheese that is molded into a basket and named for the area of Zefat, or Safed, where it was first made.

If you’d like some wine to accompany your cheese, you’ll be in for a treat. Each wine is better than the last. A recent revolution in wine-making caused boutique wineries to spring up across the Galilee’s highly varied terroir, every vineyard raising grapes with a flavor that is specific to the soil in which they grow. Gaze out over hills covered in vines while you savor deep, fruity reds and fresh white wines with the guidance of Israel’s top wine-makers. Explore the grape blends that produced wines earning top honors at the world’s wine fairs, many of which are not available for sale outside of Israel.

Taste the Harvest

Visit pick-your-own orchards to revel in berries, apples, cherries, peaches, plums and even sabra-fruit that are plump, juicy and bursting with flavor. Tour spice farms to smell and taste an ever-changing range of herbs and spices, both those that are familiar to you and those that you’ve never encountered before. Discover the Galilee’s native flavors and create your own herbal teas and spice blends.

Another of the Galilee’s important harvests, olive oil, also awaits you. If you thought that all olive oil tastes the same, a visit to a family-run olive oil farm in the Galilee will change your mind. Sample olive oils to learn what makes each oil taste different and join the fun of picking olives and pressing them the old-fashioned way to make your own extra-virgin olive oil.

Markets and Restaurants

The Galilee’s ancient towns boast a plethora of markets where you can buy the best local produce and artisanal products, often sold by the experts who made them. Amble the markets tasting and testing to discover delights around every corner, or join a knowledgeable foodie guide who will lead you to the best stalls and finest treats.

As you wander the Galilee following your taste buds you’ll encounter gourmet restaurants tucked away in the unlikeliest corners. Some of the country’s best cooking is served in unassuming Galilee eateries perched on the edge of magnificent views. Many are family-run, serving dishes made with love from ingredients that were grown or raised within just a few miles. But to really plumb the depths of the Galilee’s produce, take part in a cooking workshop. They are led by local chefs who know the land inside and out and are eager to share the best way to choose, prepare and enjoy the tastiest local produce. Often you’ll pick your ingredients before you prepare them, making dishes that taste better than anything you’ve ever cooked before.

The Unique Experience of the Galilee

The Galilee is much more than a series of delicious flavors. Visit ruined fortresses and biblical sites where Jesus preached and battles were fought. Climb up mountains, thrill with white-water rafting and hike alongside bubbling streams as part of your dream vacation in the Galilee.

photo credit:

Itamar Grinberg